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June 11, 2013

Nuernberger more than a kicker according to coach

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It was widely believed that Ohio State was going to need to take a place kicker in the class of 2014 and on Tuesday afternoon those beliefs were confirmed when the Buckeyes accepted the verbal commitment out of Buckner (Ky.) Oldham County kicker Sean Nuernberger. The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder participated in two days of the Ohio State kicking camp and did well enough to earn a scholarship and it didn't take long for that offer to be accepted.

Schools like Stanford and Notre Dame had both been inquiring as well about Nuernberger, but plans had been in the works for a couple of month to attend the Ohio State camp according to Oldham County Special Teams Coordinator Chris Collins.

"They wanted him to stay all night (Monday) and come back today (Tuesday) and kick some more and according to him they offered a scholarships and he accepted and he verbally committed and it looks like he is going to be an Ohio State Buckeye," Collins said.

In Collins mind there was no doubt where Nuernberger wanted to end up if he had his choice.

"Ohio State was always his No. 1 choice so it worked out well," Collins said. "He kicked great and did that he needed to do."

Nuernberger made his way to the greater Louisville area by way of Illinois (originally from Germany however) and it didn't take Collins long to recognize that Nuernberger had what it took to be a Division-1 (FBS) level kicker.

"He came out for spring practice as a sophomore, I have been coaching kickers for 10 years and I have seen some good ones and bad ones and I have had two kids play at the D-1 level," Collins said. "I know what it takes and when he came out and kicked that first day and I told our coaches that he was going to be big time if he works hard and stays with it, just after that first kick."

Nuernberger was named as a 1st team All-State by the Louisville Courier-Journal as a junior and was 7-12 on field goals with a long of 46 yards but Collins added that two of the misses were due to bad snaps. Nuernberger also was 29/32 on point after attempts and two of the three misses were a result of blocks due to breakdowns.

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Nuernberger is also capable of punting and kickoffs, he was 38/44 on touchbacks during kickoffs and averaged 43.2 yards per punt with a long of 63 yards and had approximately 25 return yards on punts the entire season with every other punt resulting in either a dead ball or fair catch.

But even more than just being a talented kicker, Collins was quick to point out that Nuernberger is a great kid first.

"He is a high character kid with a great family and great support, all around great kid," Collins said. "He is not a typical kicker as you talk about them, being crazy or weird, he is an athlete. He would probably be an all-state basketball guy and he is a great soccer player, plus he is probably the fastest guy on our team."

According to Collins, Nuernberger could excel at other positions on the football field too and he expects him after a year of college weight lifting to be a guy who benches around 350 pounds and squatting 600 pounds if the Buckeyes want to push him to get bigger.

"He is an overall athlete, not just a kicker," Collins added. "If he wasn't such a great kicker we would probably play him at other positions. "

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